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Philippines Navy kills Taiwanese fisherman: Taiwan
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-05-09 07:13 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – One crew member of a Taiwanese fishing trawler died after a ship of the Philippines Navy opened fire, the Council of Agriculture said Thursday.

The incident reportedly took place about halfway between the southern tip of Taiwan and the Philippines’ main island of Luzon, in an area where territorial rights overlap, reports said.

The Kuang Ta Hsing 28 registered in Pingtung County was fired on by the Philippines Navy around 10 a.m. Thursday, but the reason for the incident was not yet clear, said Tsai Jih-yao, deputy director-general of the COA’s Fisheries Agency.

He named the dead fisherman as Hung Shih-cheng, 65, and added the fishing trawler had been so severely damaged it had lost engine power. Another fishing ship was on its way from the Pingtung County harbor of Tungkang to provide assistance to the trawler, which was located 180 nautical miles from Taiwan and still had a crew of three on board, according to Tsai. The coast guard was reportedly also sending a ship to help out, reports said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had asked both its representative in Manila and the Philippines representative in Taipei to provide more details, but so far little was known about what had caused the incident.

Hung’s son was the captain of the ship, with the other crew members a son-in-law and an Indonesian citizen, reports said. The Kuang Ta Hsing 28 was fishing for tuna in the area, according to a fishermen’s organization in Pingtung.

The association said a relative of Hung told them the Filipinos had opened fire on the ship with a machine gun. The family wanted Taiwan to send a helicopter to airlift him to safety, but in a second phone call, they said Hung had died.

Association officials said the government should protest to Manila and demand compensation. The ship had been effectively destroyed, with its engines and nets completely destroyed, the association said.

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